Considering an upgrade to your vintage or historic home? In this series, master craftsman Daniel Westbrook interviews industry expert Mark LaLiberte, the founding partner and president of Construction Instruction. Mark has been educating the building industry on the science and physics of construction for more than 30 years and sharing the benefits of constructing durable, energy-efficient, healthy homes. 

In today’s video, Daniel and Mark discuss how to maintain the energy efficiency of a historic home. Here are some key takeaways:

How to maintain a historic home

One of the best ways to maintain a historic home is to perform a retrofit. A retrofit can help restore parts of historic buildings and prevent them from being torn down and placed in a landfill. An energy retrofit, specifically, can input modern technology into historic buildings to save on energy costs.

Why it’s important to perform an energy retrofit

An energy retrofit done well can double the life of historic buildings. It may be expensive up front, but it will save you money on yearly energy costs, as well as provide improved comfort and durability for the homeowner. You may also see a return on your investment upon resale.

What materials to use in an energy retrofit

When retrofitting a historic home, it’s important not to use any materials with harsh chemicals that may adversely affect the tradespersons or occupants. Before purchasing any materials, it’s a good idea to do a little research to see if they will have a negative effect on the environment. Purchasing locally manufactured products can further minimize the impact on the environment by reducing shipping requirements.

And remember: Proper installation is just as important as quality materials. Make sure you use the right material for the right application and take care as you build.

We want to thank Mark and Daniel for taking the time to discuss this with us! Be sure to watch the video above and stay tuned for the rest of the series. In the meantime, check out some of Mark and Daniel’s previous conversations on repairing and replacing historic windows, insulation, and air quality.